Physicians Say Engagement Tech Helps Spark Better Conversations, Pharma Advertising OK in New Survey
CINCINNATI and NEW YORK – More than three-quarters of U.S. physicians agree that leveraging patient education and engagement technology can help improve the patient experience, according to a new survey of more than 200 physicians from PatientPoint® and the non-profit think tank Digital Health Coalition (DHC). The survey was powered by SERMO, the largest global social network for physicians and a provider of real-time healthcare professional market research.
Results from the survey confirm that physicians see patient engagement technology as an exciting and increasingly necessary tool to enhance the patient experience—and that they are currently leveraging it in their practices. In fact, 95 percent of physicians surveyed reported that they were currently using one or more engagement technology tools such as digital waiting room screens, exam room tablets or mobile apps to educate and engage with patients.
Better information and conversation were among the top perceived benefits of using patient engagement tools. Nearly half of physicians surveyed reported that patient engagement technology could or is already helping them provide patients with enhanced education about conditions and treatments and facilitate better, richer patient interactions.
The ability to digitize exam rooms—a space long dominated by analog tools such as models and posters—was also a top-cited benefit of leveraging technology among physicians surveyed. And survey results confirm physician interest in upgrading this space: Nearly half of physicians said that they are currently considering implementing interactive touchscreens or tablets into their exam rooms.
In addition to monitoring physician attitudes around use and perceived benefits of technology, the survey took an in-depth look at how physicians viewed pharma-branded messaging within these tools, and the results were favorable. Nearly three-quarters of physicians said that they would be somewhat or very interested in free digital engagement solutions that included highly contextual, tailored content related to their specialty supported by pharmaceutical-branded advertising.
“The results from our survey are clear: physicians are embracing patient engagement technology and are looking to integrate it across important touchpoints to better educate patients and optimize the patient experience,” said PatientPoint Founder and CEO Mike Collette. “This positive view of technology—and knowing that pharmaceutical brands can play a role—represents significant opportunities for brands to better connect with patients and physicians during the office visit as well as before and after.”
Looking ahead, the survey revealed physicians are most excited about voice technology and how it may fit into their workflow. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported interest in tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Home in their office, assisting with tasks like documentation, dictation, quick communication with staff and answering patient questions.
“Our data confirm that physicians see technology as a valuable part of their practice of medicine,” said Digital Health Coalition Executive Director Christine Franklin. “They see, understand and most importantly are excited about how future innovations in the space are poised to transform how they interact with and educate patients.”
PatientPoint® is a patient engagement solutions company passionately committed to making every doctor-patient engagement better™. By harnessing the power of technology, our omnichannel platform more effectively educates and empowers patients, caregivers and staff to deliver improved health outcomes and an enhanced patient experience. For 30 years, hospitals, health systems, physician offices and sponsoring brands have trusted PatientPoint and its more than 450 team members to provide a uniquely integrated experience across care settings. By the end of 2018, PatientPoint programs are on track to impact patient-physician discussions in more than 51,000 physician offices and 1,000 hospitals nationwide.
About Digital Health Coalition
Digital Health Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created to serve as the collective voice and industry rallying point for the discussion of the current and future issues relevant to digital marketing of healthcare products and services. We engage multiple and diverse stakeholders through research, events, and advocacy projects and then recommend specific actions that will drive innovation. Learn more at digitalhealthcoalition.org.
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